What’s Next For ‘Iron’ Michael Chandler

Michael Chandler throws a shot at Justin Gaethje at UFC 268 courtesy of Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

After Making a promising debut in the UFC against Dan Hooker at UFC 257, Michael Chandler has lost back to back fights. The first to Lightweight Champion Charles Oliveira at UFC 262 in May and on Saturday at UFC 268 against Justin Gaethje. The Former Bellator MMA champ is top of the heap when it comes to contenders in the Lightweight division so it will be interesting to see who the UFC taps to face Chandler next. 

Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier will face each other on December 11th at UFC 269. It is presumed that the winner will face Justin Gaethje. The loser however will not face Gaethje one would think if Poirier loses to Oliveira He may face Michael Chandler. Poirier is the number one ranked UFC Lightweight and if in the unlikely event he loses to Oliveira an interesting matchup would be against Chandler. Although it would probably be more likely that Poirier faces Beneil Dariush.

Another interesting option would be a fight with Islam Makhachev. Makhachev is currently ranked fourth in the Lightweight division and is coming off an amazingly quick victory against Dan Hooker at UFC 267. Makhachev has climbed to the top of the Lightweight division and is likely to be a champion in the Division in the next few years. It’d be interesting to see  Makhachev’s Sambo skill go up against Chandler’s wrestling. 

Tony Ferguson would also be an interesting matchup for Chandler. They’re both on skids as of late Ferguson is coming off losses to Dariush, Oliveira, and Gaethje. It’d be great for either of these Lightweights to make a statement that they’re still contenders in the division and are still in it to eventually win or reclaim a title.

One odd note is that Conor McGregor has been linked to a fight with Chandler. The two shared an interesting exchange on Twitter where McGregor showed respect to Chandler for his performance at UFC 268. It’d definitely be a great fight and would raise Chandler’s bank account and status as a fighter. It’d be interesting to see Chandler’s wrestling against McGregor’s striking.

Chandler has made a splash in the UFC, and though he is down, he definitely isn’t out. He has a plethora of fights that he could choose from. We will see what the UFC has in store for Chandler.

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